Monday, December 30, 2013

The Man and the Mystic

Saint John resting on the breast of Jesus
In the gathering of the Church the Lord opened his mouth and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and clothed him with a robe of glory. —Introit of the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Of Merriment, Miracles and the Meaning of Christmas

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. —Isaiah 9:6

In our humble blog's short time here on the worldwide interwebs, we've covered many topics, including the run-up to today. There is so little one can add to what has been said in so many sermons, written in so many books, sung in so many songs and prayed in so many prayers about Christmas, but that doesn't mean we can't try to say something relatively meaningful.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Power Woman for Christ!

Saint Lucy

Princes have persecuted me without cause, and my heart hath been in awe of Thy words: I will rejoice at Thy words, as one that hath found great spoil. —Communion Antiphon for the Feast of Saint Lucy

Monday, December 16, 2013

God and Man at Columbia

The first BioShock is a masterpiece of a game, and I eagerly awaited creator Ken Levine’s latest project: BioShock Infinite. Rather than an underwater city filled with characters from a Galt’s Gulch gone terribly wrong, this game features a floating city in the sky. On first glance, it’s a quasi-Mormon paradise inflamed with American nationalism, but below the surface there lies a society scarred by racism, crony capitalism, and a dangerous cult of "the Prophet." BioShock Infinite has taken the gaming world by storm and won more awards than I can count. It's a creative piece of storytelling and is probably worth playing if you like fast-paced shooters. The game’s religious themes in particular were irresistible to me as a Catholic, and so I’d like to dig into them, as I haven’t seen these ideas seriously addressed elsewhere. I’ll assume the good reader has either completed the game and knows the ending or isn't a gamer and actually wouldn't mind it being spoiled… so read at your own discretion.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

CAPTION THIS: When Swiss Met Miss

Officer: "(GASPS) Where did you get those fab-ulous boots?!"
Girl: "Oh, these old things? I got them at a steal at my local consignment shop."
Guard: "Il Papa never lets
us wear fabulous boots..."
Many thanks to everyone who participated in the first-of-probably-many Unpleasant Accents Caption Contest! Congratulations to beowulf who, in addition to having an epic literary name, is our first-of-probably-many winner! Here is his high-larious caption:
Putin: "So we meet at last the two of an incredibly powerful and beloved icon serving the will of God, across the world...and then you, the Leader of the Roman Catholic Church!"
So! Do you think you can steal the Funny Crown* from our champion's head? Well, have at it, and leave your captions in the comments below!

*Not an actual crown.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christ Jesus, the God Who Appears to Us

Praised Be Jesus!

Happy Advent to all of you, and I pray that this Advent may be a time of great preparation for the coming of Our Lord on Christmas and that He may be born anew in our hearts!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Innocence, Born to Die

"So, we're just going to let scores of children carry open flames in the cathedral? Did no-one second-guess this idea?"
As Michael noted in our previous post, last Sunday was the Feast of Christ the King, which closes out the liturgical year. Thus, the start of Advent (derived from the Latin for "coming") today marks a new year, as well as the beginning of that short but intense time of solemn waiting and joyful expectation. Christmas will be upon us in not even four weeks, giving us precious little time to reflect upon its true meaning.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christ, a King for Us!

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CAPTION THIS: When Pope Met Putin

The Russian President had been the undisputed arm-wrestling champion five years running, but this was his mightiest foe to date. (Full story here. Picture c/o: Vatican Radio English)
Welcome to the first-of-probably-many Unpleasant Accents Caption Contest! There isn't a prize or anything because, really, you're all winners (and we're all broke college grads), but if you think you can make a funny that's better than ours, leave your caption in the comments below!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mary and the Culture of Encounter

Praised Be Jesus!

As we all know, our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, is making waves with his statements, such as, "Who am I to judge?" and by reaching out personally to those who write him letters, including those who are members of groups who have felt alienated from the Church. This is a new direction for the papacy and all a part of the theme of Francis' papacy: the "culture of encounter". Francis has used the phrase "culture of encounter" repeatedly since his papacy began. What could the culture of encounter be, and how does it affect our lives as Catholics?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanks for Nothing

"Dear Lord, we thank Thee for bringing us all together and for the gift of Purell, that our hand-holding might be that much less disgusting. Amen."
“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”
Saint Anthony the Great, presumably foreseeing the rise of Black Friday sales

Thanksgiving is traditionally a holiday in which Americans (and Canadians, whose freakish October observance doesn't count) gather together, feast until they're stuffed and/or diabetic and pass out watching football and/or parade coverage. They're also thankful to God for all their of their food and blessings and stuff. Traditionally, the next day, Black Friday, officially begins the Christmas season and is marked by orderly, cheerful holiday shopping and—

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When the Village Turns on You... Love Harder!

Praised Be Jesus!

I hope this post finds everyone well! As we traverse through the month of November, I thought that it would be a good idea to reflect on the lives of some Saints, and with Thanksgiving speedily approaching, we will be remembering that very, how should I say... colorful story (lie) of the first Thanksgiving of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. But in the spirit of the holiday, I thought we should focus on one of the Church's newest Saints, Kateri Tekakwitha.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A View from the Pew: Why a Homily Makes All the Difference

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. —James 3:1

My grandmother is a wonderful, inspiring woman whom I look to as a mentor in my religious journey, and I love it when she visits me. When I was a bratty six-year-old and a hell-spawned teenager, I dreaded her visits for one reason, and one reason only:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Do You See What I See? A Reflection on the Vera Icon

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure. —1 John 3:1-3

Friday, November 1, 2013

Caritas Actually

It is perhaps unfortunate that we begin our first post — a post about love, no less — on a sour note, but it is necessary because it is illustrative of how not to be charitable. Our story takes place several years ago. I was attending the enthronement of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. As one of the local clergy, my father was expected to attend. It can be rather lonely as a traditional Anglo-Catholic in a liberal diocese (to say nothing of the entire denomination as a whole), so I tagged along, for moral support.